Fashion: The utility of it all

The utility or uniform look has been a favourite since Katharine Hamnett sent out combat pants made of parachute silk in the mid-Eighties, although it is a look that goes back to the austere Forties. Today's look is still austere, but in a different way. Each season it gets stripped of more details until there are almost none left - epaulettes are a definite no no. But paradoxically, it has also got more feminine. When you don't have to make a statement with hideous regimental buttons you are freer to add personal touches. These shoes from Freelance would have looked so wrong with the uniform look of yore but fit perfectly with a pair of khakis now. The finishing touch is those holster bags that are so in, even though I've yet to see one on a real person and I'm already heartily sick of them. Still, you know that really big bags are going to be in next season...

Photographs by

Neil Massey.

Styled by Zoe Brown.

Photographer assisted by Toby.

Stylist assisted by Natasha Hayman.

Make-up by Sharon Willmore using Clinique.

Hair by Allison McKay for Stage Door 0171 233 1460.

Modelled by Hanne Klintoe.

Clockwise from main picture, left:

Brown cotton drawstring jacket (sizes s-l), pounds 219, and beige cotton skirt (sizes s-l), pounds 89, both by Joseph, 26 Sloane St, London SW1. 81 King St, Manchester. (Tel: 0171 590 6200)

Stone fitted waistcoat with velcro fastening (sizes 8-14), pounds 110, and matching cropped trousers (sizes 8-14), pounds 80, both cK Calvin Klein, 55 New Bond St, London W1 and from Carters 43 Howard St, Belfast. (Tel: 0171 491 9696). Khaki ribbed long sleeve T-shirt (sizes s-l), pounds 39, Joseph, 26 Sloane St, London SW1. 81 King St, Manchester. (Tel: 0171 590 6200). Beige (Boston) suede sandals (sizes 35-48), pounds 64.95, Birkenstocks, 37 Neal St, London WC2. (Tel: 0800 132 194).

White cotton shirt (sizes 6-16), pounds 99, Nicole Farhi, 158 New Bond St, London W1. Harvey Nichols, 107-111 Briggate, Leeds. (Tel: 0171 499 8368). Beige trousers (sizes 26-36), pounds 50, customised khakis for women from Dockers, Unit 8, North Piazza, Covent Garden, London W1. Selfridges, The Trafford Centre, Trafford Park, Manchester. (Tel: 0171 394 3300). White leather pouch, pounds 45, Sally Gissing, Harvey Nichols London SW3. Harvey Nichols, 107-111 Briggate, Leeds. (Tel: 0171 267 9303).

Opposite page, top and bottom

Navy Aertex long sleeve top (Sizes s-l), pounds 55, Elspeth Gibson, 7 Pont St, London SW1. 52 Thistle St, Edinburgh. (Tel: 0171 235 0601). Pale blue chambray skirt (sizes 8-12), pounds 159, Blaak, available from Browns Focus, 38-39 South Molton St, London W1. (Tel: 0171 629 0666). White cotton holster, pounds 180, Etro, 14 Old Bond St, London W1. (Tel: 0171 495 5767). White flat mules (sizes 35-41), pounds 129, Freelance, 253 Kings Road, London SW3. (Tel: 0171 351 4038).

Pale grey denim jacket (sizes 10-12), pounds 260, Blaak, from Browns Focus, 38-39 South Molton St, London W1. (Tel: 0171 629 0666). Grey silk skirt with organza trim (sizes 1-3), pounds 48, and black crossover body bag, pounds 38, both from Jigsaw, 126-127 New Bond St, London W1. 39-43 King Street, Manchester. (Tel: 0171 491 4484). Black flat mules (sizes 35-41), pounds 129, Freelance, 253 Kings Road, London SW3. (Tel: 0171 351 4038).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

    £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

    Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

    £23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

    Day In a Page

    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...